Background artiste from 'Better than Stars'

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Reading Delights (and how to sell them)

Last week I was playing shop amidst a feast of reading delights. Or, to put it more clearly, I did a few shifts on a bookstall at the Bath Literature Festival (sadly finished now for this year).

And not just any bookstall. I was working - oh, all right, volunteering - for the lovely Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights. (Seriously, check out the link to see just how therapeutic a bookstore can be.)

I hoped I was going to enjoy myself, but I never realised how much. People who like books are easy to be around. And I was surprised how swiftly I became interested in what was often not what I would expect to be my kind of book, when I saw it through the eyes of someone who could appreciate it. But mostly it was amazing to be surrounded by so many of them.

I don't think I've ever really thought before what nice things books are. They're more than visually attractive, they're tactile, designed to be picked up, opened and explored. And they have a life. I was quite upset recently to visit a craft fair where one of the products was books mutilated into becoming CD racks and suchlike. But I digress. Whole and healthy, they're nice things to sell.

This might sound a bit odd coming from someone whose last post announced her conversion to e-books - but don't get me wrong:  I never meant to give up the hard stuff. Why does there always have to be a choice? Dogs or cats. The Beatles or the Stones. Shakespeare or Beckett. Why can't I have them both? I think our lives are enhanced by enjoying things in as many ways as we can.


Elisabeth said...

Why not have two preferences, or more? There are so many ways to enjoy the things our literary lives offer. Thanks for a lovely and somehow heartwarming post.

Sue Sedgwick said...

Thanks Elisabeth. Of course you're right. I must get rid of the feeling that I have to apologise to my traditional book-loving friends for enjoying e-books too ... and to the electronic pioneers for not having made a big bonfire in the middle of my garden. What a horrible thought! *it hurts us*